Luna Ukuleles

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I'm interested with this model too, the most intriguing was the use of ovangkol wood. First time ive seen an uke with ovangkol wood :3

But if anyone of you guys have this, i gotta ask how the action on the uke is, that's the second most important thing for me personally.
 

funkyjedi

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I was curious about the luna because:
1. It is a cutout. I love the look.
2. It is Koa, laminate as it turns out...
3. It has a pickup which is something I would like to have, just in case. :)


I emailed Luna and was told that the high tides are laminates. They stated that they did a heads up test and the sound was so similar from solid to laminate they couldnt justify the price of a solid. So, I chickened out, asked santa for a little more dough and bought a kala tenor. I am really excited, Kala has gotten good reviews on here, and while it is a laminate Koa uke, I spoke with a gentleman at a folk music store today who said laminate wasnt a bad way to go here in Denver. Its funny, I was at the Swell Season show about a month ago and their fiddle player was complaining about the dry air jacking with all of their instruments...
Long story short, MGM will be shipping my new uke soon. I hope. I cannot wait to play it.

Thanks for the replies! This boad rules.
 

SKBin727

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I have been lusting after the High Tide for some time now. A store near me finally got some of them in, once they were actually made available.

Played the little pineapple tattoo ... quite sweet.

Played the blue dolphin .... ugh. No sustain and kinda dead sounding.

I played the Koa High Tide concert and loved it. I actually liked playing it more than I do my Kala mahogany tenor and the quality of the sound was comparable. The action was just right for me and the fit of a concert just feels most natural to me. It's real purty in person too!

So, I'm still torn between the Kala Solid Acacia and the Luna HighTide concerts. I was hoping one would give me a reason to choose the other!

Oh and fwiw ... the Lunas on Overstock are factory seconds. Luna sets a MAP and those on Overstock are well below that. "Cosmetic blemishes" according to Luna.

Happy HoliDaze!
 

haolejohn

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In looking at Luna Guitars' website, specifically the descriptions of the ukes, I am struck that all of the ukes are described as being "all koa" or "all mahogany" which raises a red flag to me. Usually, if an instrument is solid wood it will say SOLID - when it says something like select koa or all koa I wonder about laminates. Especially at the price point we're talking about with these ukes.

Normally select koa is solid koa. It is just plain koa, not figured. But I'm sure these lunas are laminates for that price.
 

dagtoking1

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When this seller first offered the tattoo pineapple I asked if the top was solid or laminate. They never answered which makes me leary.

Hi, I am a newbie. My first uke was a Lyon by Washburn that I bought online; the description said "hand selected Koa top, body, and sides." When I received the uke it was obvious that it was plywood inside so I returned it and bought the Luna Tattoo Concert because the description was "all mohagony" until I found out that was also a laminate. Finally I purchased the Luna High Tide Concert because the description was all Koa and the listing on Amazon says solid Koa but now I read that it too is a laminate. From what I discovered in the music business the word select means laminate and at this point I am fed up because I wanted solid wood and I am on my third ukulele buying something I thought was solid and it too turns out to be laminate. I can return this one too but I didn't see a thing at Guitar Center I liked better. The truth is the Tattoo Concert sounded great and I wouldn't mind buying that as a second. Any suggestions in the $200-$300 range? I see there are solid Koa ukuleles with inlay from Viet Nam on Ebay for only about $100; seems too good to be true.
 

kirbo

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They sell them all over here in Taiwan. It seems like they are laminates, but many sellers have conflicting descriptions, some even claiming solid mahogany. I became a little leery when the salesperson tried to steer me towards these and other lesser known (or in some cases no name) brands claiming that they were better instruments than similarly priced name brand ukes.
 
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Marketing folks are a clever lot. They will do anything to talk up their fancy plywood and make you think it is solid. They use terms like select, choice, all X wood etc. If it says anything other than solid it is laminate. Where it gets tricky is when they say things like solid wood with x wood veneer. I know a lot of old guitars and lutes were made this way and they were exceptional instruments but for me it sounds too much like a marketing ploy and I stay away.

That being said Luna does make some nice instruments for the price. I'm pretty sure they are made in the same place aNueNue is made and my Luna came with a better setup from the factory and was 1/2 the price. For a laminate plywood ukulele luna is pretty good.

As for solid ukuleles from Veitnam if it seems too good to be true it likely is. Also look at the shipping costs, most of the time they are more than the instrument.

I'm not sure where you live but I ordered a Bruko No. 6 from Thomman Musicstore online. With shipping and exchange rate on my credit card it came in around $180 or $190 US. Someone else recently ordered one and it was £125 GBP. Not a bad price. It is made in German from a luthier family that has been around since the 19th cen. and been making ukuleles since 1937. It is solid mahogany with a maple neck and is really nice. If you want concert or tenor you can order those from the factory website (just google Bruko). They have a lot of different options if you want something custom too.
 

mstuartev

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Tatto sounded cool

Somewhere perhaps on their webpage is a video of a guy playing a Tenor uke, tattoo designs... and it sounded awesome.
 

patfia

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Take a look at Hawaii Music Supply www.theukulelesite.com or Uke Republic www.ukerepublic.com or Mim www.mimsukes.com. Key to the marketing description is whether it says "solid". If it doesn't say solid, it's laminated. It is possible to get a solid top and laminated sides and back. Regardless, any of the 3 above will help you find a good instrument and will make sure it plays well for you, solid or laminate. Laminate is not necessarily something to be afraid of. As you've found, the luna sounded pretty darn good. I have a Makai laminate that sounds pretty darn good. It's actually handy to have a laminate around that you can just toss in the car and go without worrying about environmental issues.
 

dagtoking1

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RE:

Take a look at Hawaii Music Supply www.theukulelesite.com or Uke Republic www.ukerepublic.com or Mim www.mimsukes.com. Key to the marketing description is whether it says "solid". If it doesn't say solid, it's laminated. It is possible to get a solid top and laminated sides and back. Regardless, any of the 3 above will help you find a good instrument and will make sure it plays well for you, solid or laminate. Laminate is not necessarily something to be afraid of. As you've found, the luna sounded pretty darn good. I have a Makai laminate that sounds pretty darn good. It's actually handy to have a laminate around that you can just toss in the car and go without worrying about environmental issues.

Wow, great information, thanks! I only checked out the first website so far but I see I can get solid wood for the same price I paid for my Luna. I bought Guitar Center's warranty which allows me to return the Luna within 30 days for a full refund so now I am tempted to return it and get one of these great ukes instead. I was wondering what you mean by enviromental issues; as a new player I am not sure what you mean. I live in Miami and I never worried about my solid wood guitar. I see the ukes on the first link come with humidafiers (sp?) and not sure why. What extra care do you have to give an all wood uke and how do you use the humidafier with it?
 

patfia

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In Miami, you probably don't need to worry about environmental issues much. Basically, you want to keep a solid wood uke reasonably humidified. I've seen 40% to 50% primarily as the target. If it gets too dry, you can have problems. Just remember, it can be drier in your home than outside due to A/C or heat. Others may be better able to tell you the kinds of problems you might run across but basically the wood can shrink, you can have bridge problems, fretboard problems, etc. Failing to keep a uke properly humidified can void the warranty. A laminate is not as susceptible to heat or lack of humidity. Also, they're cheaper so you wouldn't feel quite as bad if it were damaged, lost, or stolen. HMS always ships a humidifier with a solid wood uke.
 

Nickie

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I know a guy who always plays his Luna at our open mikes. I've never heard it un-amplified. It sounds okay. Personally, if I was buying another lam, I'd go with a Kala... tried and true ukes.
 

dagtoking1

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RE:

In Miami, you probably don't need to worry about environmental issues much. Basically, you want to keep a solid wood uke reasonably humidified. I've seen 40% to 50% primarily as the target. If it gets too dry, you can have problems. Just remember, it can be drier in your home than outside due to A/C or heat. Others may be better able to tell you the kinds of problems you might run across but basically the wood can shrink, you can have bridge problems, fretboard problems, etc. Failing to keep a uke properly humidified can void the warranty. A laminate is not as susceptible to heat or lack of humidity. Also, they're cheaper so you wouldn't feel quite as bad if it were damaged, lost, or stolen. HMS always ships a humidifier with a solid wood uke.

Mike from HMS told me that all wood doesn't like central air and in Miami we run central air all day. Now I know why I can't find an all wood uke in South Florida. I was going to purchase a Hawaiian made Uke from them but not now. Guess I will stay with the High Tide; at least it is pretty to look at.
 

fitncrafty

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Mike from HMS told me that all wood doesn't like central air and in Miami we run central air all day. Now I know why I can't find an all wood uke in South Florida. I was going to purchase a Hawaiian made Uke from them but not now. Guess I will stay with the High Tide; at least it is pretty to look at.

I have a Luna and I played a bunch too. They sound pretty good and I am certain that with a MGM set up even better... Good luck with your new purchase and enjoy!